Treaty Education is an important form of educating the public on the various treaties that exist between Indigenous peoples and the federal government of Canada It is vital to understand the history of these treaties in order to facilitate ongoing reconciliation and recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples. Treaty Education encourages collective understanding and an appreciation of the unique historical and contemporary realities for Indigenous people, encouraging a sense of responsibility for all Canadians.
1. Orange Shirt Day: Orange Shirt Day was created to promote reconciliation and to educate Canadians on the history of residential schools in Canada. It is held annually on September 30th to bring awareness to the travesty that occurred. The event calls for members of all backgrounds to come together, to stand in solidarity with Indigenous people and to recognize the lasting effects of Residential Schools.
2. KAIROS Blanket Exercise: The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive educational event that helps people understand the history of the relationship between First Nations people and the Canadian government, particularly in terms of the signing of treaties. Participants are invited to join a guided tour of traditional Indigenous lands, where they “walk in the shoes” of Indigenous people and experience the signing of the various treaties that were imposed upon them.
3. Indigenous Knowledge Keepers Program: The Indigenous Knowledge Keepers Program is an initiative developed by the University of Saskatchewan, designed to reconnect Indigenous students to their traditional culture, language and history. Through this program, students have the opportunity to learn about a wide range of traditional teachings such as Ceremony, Protocol, Traditional Laws and Indigenous Art.
4. Indigenous Language Revitalization: Indigenous Language Revitalization is an important part of Treaty Education. There are many programs and initiatives that facilitate the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages, encouraging Indigenous people to regain their language and keep it alive for future generations. Some of these programs include language workshops, cultural camps and language immersion programs.
5. Canada’s Indigenous Storytellers Festival: Canada’s Indigenous Storytellers Festival is an annual event that takes place in various locations across Canada. The festival provides an opportunity for participants to learn about Indigenous culture, art, and history through storytelling, music, dance, and other forms of art. The event also serves to educate non-Indigenous people on the treaties that have been signed between their government and Indigenous people.